HUD Releases Detailed Operating Fund Subsidy Calculation for June

HUD has released it’s detailed calculation of Operating Fund subsidy for June 2017. PHAs can examine the details to HUD’s calculation in determining Operating subsidy for June at the PHA level. In June, HUD is increasing the proration for the Operating Fund from 85 percent to a 92.89 percent proration.

The proration represents a cumulative amount for the year. Since PHAs received payments based on a lesser yearly proration for the first few months of the year, June’s payment will be greater to compensate for the initial underfunding. This is known as a “true up.” As such, many PHAs may see a significant increase in Operating Fund subsidy in June as a result of this true up.

The July payment will more accurately represent the new monthly amount under the new proration. The letter notes that there may be minor proration fluctuations and that “[t]he final proration will be established after final eligibility is determined for all projects.”

Deadline for Applying for Blended Administrative Fee Rates for the HCV Program Extended

Earlier today, HUD emailed information stating that the deadline for applying for a blended administrative fee rate for the Housing Choice Voucher Program has been extended to Friday, June 23, 2017 at 5 pm Eastern Time. As noted in Notice PIH 2017-07 titled “Guidance related to (1) Eligibility for Potential Shortfall Funding Under the Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Renewal Set-Aside for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and (2) CY 2017 Administrative Fees,” PHAs that serve multiple administrative fee areas may request a blended rate based on the locations of their assisted units. The blended rate will be used for CY 2017.

PHAs may submit the blended administrative fee request at PIHFinancialManagementDivision@hud.gov using the subject line “[PHA Number – i.e., PHA xxx], 2017 Request for Blended Rate Administrative Fees.” Alternatively, PHAs may submit a request to the following physical mailing address:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Housing Voucher Programs, Attn: Miguel Fontanez, Director, HV Financial Management Division, Room 4222, 451 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20410.

Either submit electronically or by physical mail–not both.

NAHRO, CAP Offer Free Webinar on PHA-CAA Partnerships

Does your Public Housing Authority (PHA) want to provide necessary non-housing services to your residents, such as access to case management, transportation services, food security, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)? Is your Community Action Agency (CAA) looking for better ways to partner with your local PHA to help your clients find safe, secure, affordable housing? If so, please join the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) for a free webinar to learn about how PHAs and CAAs work hand-in-hand to help address poverty in communities across the nation.

On June 20, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT, NAHRO Senior Director of Congressional Relations John Bohm, CAP CEO Denise Harlow, and NAHRO and CAP staff will discuss the results of a recent survey conducted by NAHRO and CAP, provide examples of established working relationships between PHAs and CAAs, and examine the results achieved by these partnerships.

Nationally, PHAs help over 4.8 million families and individuals by providing safe, decent, affordable housing for families in need. Community Action Agencies provide critical programs to more than 15 million people with low incomes every year. Collaboration increases the capacity of both PHAs and CAAs, and making the CAA programs and services available to public housing residents puts communities are in a far better position to combat poverty. Join us for this free webinar to learn how to build and strengthen these collaborations.

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HUD REAC Publishes UPCS-V Version 2.5

HUD REAC’s Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) has published Version 2.5 of the UPCS-V protocol. The UPCS-V protocol is an inspections protocol that HUD is developing as a successor to the current Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections protocol currently in use for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD is developing the protocol in a Demonstration program with nearly 250 PHAs participating.

OED has posted both the protocol itself and a document listing all the changes from version 2.0 of the UPCS-V protocol. At this time, it looks like the majority of changes are language related for clarity or grammar, with a few technical changes.

The UPCS-V 2.5 protocol can be found here.

The document listing changes from the UPCS-V 2.0 protocol to the UPCS-V 2.5 protocol can be found here.

HUD Calculates Renewal Funding Inflation Factors for HCV Program

Tomorrow, June 8, HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register titled “Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Fiscal year (FY) 2017 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency (PHA) Renewal Funding.” The notice outlines the methodology for calculating Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs). These factors are applied to leasing and cost data to determine current year Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program eligibility (i.e., these factors determine how much additional money PHAs need to maintain the same number and quality of vouchers as the previous year). Tables showing RFIFs will be available from HUD here (when posted after this notice is published in the Federal Register). The pre-publication notice can be found here.

HUD calculates RFIFs with a three-step process. First, HUD forecasts a national inflation factor. Second, HUD calculates individual area inflation factors (using annual changes in the two-bedroom Fair Market Rent [FMR] for the area). Third, HUD scales the individual area inflation factors so that the weighted average equals the national average, but ensures that each area has an inflation factor of no less than one. This year, 2017, HUD has changed its methodology so that the first step uses forecasts to calculate per unit costs (PUCs) instead of relying on backward-looking historical data.

[6/8/17 Edit – The published notice can be found here.]

Click the link below to read a more detailed description of the methodology.

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Thinking About Solar Panels?

On May 31, 2017 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted a webinar on Solar Project Development for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). The webinar presented approaches for implementation based on various readiness levels. Presenters included Crystal Bergemann, Energy Team Lead, Office of Economic Development; Benjamin Foster, ICF expert; Richard Santangelo, Apollo Engineering Solutions, subcontractor to IFC; and Robert Havlicket, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara. Each presenter outlined a framework for effective planning for a solar photovoltaic (PV) project. Comprehensive steps such as financing, site locations, incentives, and best practices were shared to encourage PHAs to use solar panels.

The webinar focused on solar panels for PHAs, with a framework for financial planning which affordable housing and multiple family programs can utilize. One approach that was presented was HUD’s Renew300 initiative, which started in 2013 as a mechanism to increase the use of on-site community solar panels at federally assisted housing to save energy and money for the community. Solar development can save money for organizations, contribute to the local economy, and positively impact the community.  

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Suspension of HOME 24-Month Commitment Requirement

On June 2, HUD published a message on HUD Exchange addressing the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act’s (Public Law No. 115-31) suspension of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Due to this suspension, HUD will not be enforcing the program’s 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring this year or in 2018 and 2019. For deadlines that occurred in 2016, HUD intends to return deobligated funds to participating jurisdictions (PJs). HUD further clarifies that this suspension does not apply to a PJ’s Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside funds and does not apply to the 5-year expenditure deadline for FY 2014 and earlier grants. The recent HOME interim rule implementing grant-specific commitment requirements remains in effect, except HUD will not enforce the 24-month commitment deadlines discussed above. Additional HUD guidance on the effects of this suspension is forthcoming.

NAHRO Comments on Reopened MTW Expansion Operations Notice

On June 5, NAHRO submitted comments in response to HUD’s “Operations Notice for the Expansion of the Moving To Work Demonstration Program Solicitation of Comment; Waiver Revision and Reopening of Comment Period.” This notice reopened the comment period of the January 23, 2017 Moving to Work (MTW) Operations Notice for 30 days, and also made revisions to one General Waiver in Appendix 1 and two Conditional Waivers in Appendix 2. NAHRO also submitted in-depth comments to HUD on the Operations Notice in late March (members only).

NAHRO’s comment letter makes several suggestions over the course of three main sections. The first section responds to HUD’s specific request for comments on revisions to the Operations Notice included in the revised Notice, while the second section highlights some of NAHRO’s general recommendations to improve the Operations Notice. The third section, “Attachment 1,” contains NAHRO’s previously submitted comments to HUD regarding the MTW Expansion Operations Notice.

NAHRO’s general comments asked HUD to include “safe harbors” that PHAs could use for conditional waivers, to clarify the general purpose of the Operations Notice, to clarify the use of waivers not included in the Operations Notice, and to make specific changes to waivers listed in the Operations Notice.

NAHRO’s comment letter can be found here.

 

HUD Extends Deadline for ’17 Operating Fund Revisions

On May 31, HUD released Notice PIH-2017-19, amending the Public Housing Operating subsidy eligibility calculations for Calendar Year 2017. The notice extends the Operating Fund revision deadline from August 1 to August 15. This provides PHAs additional time to submit revisions to their original CY 2017 Operating Fund submissions. Revisions should be submitted to local HUD Field Offices.

Happy National Homeownership Month

On June 1, 2017, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) kicked off National Homeownership Month with the “New Era of Homeownership” panel discussion. Keynote speaker, Secretary Ben Carson, described homeownership as “security, certainty, a path forward, and a place to live with loved ones”. He stated, “after all we’ve been through, homeownership remains an American value and the cornerstone of our economy,” and noted that  63.6 percent of Americans are homeowners. Based on research from Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, homeownership has increased since 2016 and is projected to increase within the next eight years by 13.6 million households.

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